Wednesday, January 06, 2010

St. Lucia 2009-2010

In honor of, well, lots of things - starting a new adventure in a new place, fifteen years together, the turn of the decade - Alexis took me to the most beautiful place I've ever been...nestled between the Pitons on St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles.

Evidently, New Years in the Carribean is quite the place. Luckily, Alexis found us the most beautiful and wondrous resort - it was quiet and lovely. The ocean splooshed on a private crescent of white sand between these two mountains - the Grosse and Petit Pitons. Some islands in the sea are sand spits - visible from above as a chain of islands surrounded by shallow waters (and eventually a massive drop-off). Other islands, like St. Lucia, are volcanic - the jungled mountains were just mountain-tops, the bulk of them being under water. The air smelled of sulpher, and there are supposed to be bubbling warm mud pits that we didn't manage to visit this time.

Did you know that coral reefs have died back by 80% in the last decade? It is the most heartbreaking thing to see the algae-covered calcium substructures devoid of color. But there are still wonderful schools of fish in the shallows - around the corner in Anse Chastenet, we swam through thousands of them.

Alexis contemplates a flounder. Flounder rolls eyes nervously.

How many flounders do you see?

Best, possibly, however were these amazing creatures:

Look closely - what in the world could line up like this (which the often did in size order, no kidding)?

Can you tell? They had amazing phosphorescent markings and flashed (!!!) at some unconscious jerk who swam right at them. Then they inked and swooshed away. I looked up for a moment to get my bearings and when I ducked back underwater there were tiny puffs of blackness disappating in the sea. And just a couple of weeks ago I was declaring my love of cephalopods and my desire to see a cuttlefish (well, and octopus, really - but these guys were even more interactive and interesting). I contemplate my love of cephalopods quite regularly, just the thought of them makes me surprisingly happy.

Alexis hides well among the seaweed:

We kayaked out so far that they motored out to see if we were okay. We were.

I've already told Alexis we're going back next year. I'm starting a savings account for that purpose...